Assessing and Addressing Misconceptions, Part 2: Forces that Shape the Earth

One of the major professional development courses the STEM Pipeline offers is “Assessing and Addressing Misconceptions, Part 2: Forces that Shape the Earth”. This project is designed to improve science education in grades three to eight by delving deeply into science concepts about which students and adults often have strongly held misconceptions. 
A team of four experts from the Central MA STEM Pipeline Network (higher education, professional development organizations and K-12) created a seven day, 3-credit course for teachers. The courses focuses on MCAS Learning Standards identified as problematic for students that are also embedded are aligned with known common earth science misconceptions. Those specific conceptual areas are the foundation for the course. 
With a foundation of formative assessment usage from part 1 of the course, this year teachers will learn and practice the Science Curriculum Topic Study as a means to enhance lessons to help students understand these earth science concepts. Concepts will be explored with the use of inquiry-based learning. This course aims to improve teacher knowledge in specific earth science concepts. After completing the course, the teachers return to their schools and apply their knowledge of pre-assessing for misconceptions and using strategies and activities through constructivist learning methods to dispel the misconceptions that their students hold. 

The goals of the course are to:

• Deepen and strengthen teacher content knowledge on specific earth science concepts and their underlying misconceptions. 
• Provide inquiry-based opportunities to learn about earth science concepts that are difficult for students 
• Review the formative assessments used in Misconceptions, Part 1 as they relate to earth science. 
• Learn and practice using the Science Curriculum Topic Study materials to design lessons to help students towards conceptual understanding. 

Instruction will be through a variety of whole and small group work, guided discovery and examining .student work. Participants will develop a plan during the first five days to implement the use of course materials in the classroom/school during the fall. 

The course is intended for people who took Misconceptions, Part 1. However, teachers new to the course are welcome if coming as part of a team from prior years. Teams are encouraged.